Re: A Quaker view

Allan Harvey (
Fri, 16 Aug 1996 12:48:43 -0600

A clarification not directly related to the debate going on:

Burgy wrote:
>A colleague just received a copy of a statement issued by the Pacific Yearly
>Meeting of the Society of Friends (a/k/a Quakers), representing Quakers in
>California, Hawai'i, Nevada and Mexico. <snip>

This statement could mislead those not familiar with Friends. The Pacific
Yearly Meeting does *not* represent all Friends in these states. While I'm
now a Presbyterian in Colorado, I was once a member of a Friends church in
California. We were affiliated with something called the Southwest Yearly
Meeting. The Southwest YM is affiliated with the branch of the Friends
tradition that is more "Evangelical", while the Pacific YM is allied with
the more "liberal" end of the tradition. I think it is safe to say that the
Southwest YM would not have approved that statement.

The point is that, in the last 300 years, the Quaker tradition has gone in
many directions, from some that retain the old "silent meeting" traditions,
to some that are basically Protestant Evangelicals, to some that are
indistinguishable from the Unitarian religion, and assorted places in
between. So, whether that statement made you think "The Quakers are right
on!" or "The Quakers have sold out the truth!", be warned that, more than
any other denominational group I can think of, churches in the Friends
tradition are so diverse that such generalizations don't work.

We now return you to our regular program ... or to the the unending (and
IMHO unedifying) thread that seems to have displaced it.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | Phone: (303)497-3555 |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | Fax: (303)497-5224 |
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